U.S. Added 227,000 Jobs Last Month; Rate at 8.3%


In yet another sign of a strengthening recovery, the United States added 227,000 net jobs in February, the third consecutive month of gains over 200,000. The unemployment rate was unchanged from 8.3 percent in January, the Labor Department reported Friday, as more people looked for work.

The strong job growth numbers could bolster President Obama’s effort to make the case to voters that his economic policies are working.

Average wages, which many economists were watching closely, ticked up as well, from $23.28 an hour to $23.31 an hour, a 0.1 percent gain. If growth in hiring is accompanied by growth in wages, it could be a sign that unemployment among qualified workers is dropping and that more of the remaining people looking for work are not qualified to fill the current vacancies.